Klinsmann Qualifier Conundrum: Getting A Jol-ly Clint Dempsey

Martin Jol

[Stepping back]

Okay, you’re Martin Jol, Fulham manager. You’ve just left behind the land of windmills to help the cozy Cottagers of London again prove that tradition more than bank account matters, even in the British Petroleum League–sorry that BPL moniker always messes me up.

You’ve got this player on your side that has proven to every manager before you that he is Fulham’s playa. 

You run a certain Dutch system, don’t know where to fit him, so you start him on the bench a little bit at the beginning of the campaign–that being 2011-2012–but quickly you realize what all your predecessors did–he’s got to be on the field.

You start playing Fulham’s playa, American Clint Dempsey, all over the field. You play him as a withdrawn forward, you play him as an incutting left-sider, then back on the right. Everywhere he plays he shows commitment, he piles up fouls that get turned into set pieces which then show on the score sheet as goals.

But, now…now you’ve got a problem on your hand.

Your target man–Bobby Zamora–is unhappy.

Unhappy with his contract, the system everything.

He’s not doing the forward work you need. One day, the crosstown Spurs come in with two gimpy-kneed centerbacks and you figure, “Ah, what the hell. Let me try Deuce up top here–at least he’ll make Ledley King run all day.”

And lo and behold it works!


Zamora and Dempsey combine with Dempsey turning centerbacks like they’re New England Patriots cornerbacks. Only you know Zamora is heading down the road to Hughes Place. No matter, maybe Ruiz or…or..”yes Dembele” can trail the play and interchange with Dempsey. My god that might just work. Heck, I’ll even through Kerim Frei on the wing to speed up our overall rate of play.

You play Dempsey up top, either in a one person set or a two and you give him license to roam.

Dempsey becomes a force up top and drops some serious goalage on the league. Clint appropriately chooses when to come back to the midfield to help out in linking, earning even more fouls as defenders trail him out wide. You know Dempsey can’t hack getting beat on with his back to the basket all season by his lonesome, so you bring in that big Russian kid from Stuttgart. And with Deuce distracting the defense you get another half dozen goals from Pogrebnyak too.

Life is good. You’re Fulham team finishes ninth in the table with a three point improvement on the previous campaign. In fact those 52 points match the output of another team interestingly enough, Liverpool that is supposed to be a step-up for London’s top American.

A Jol-ly Dempsey….

If you’re Jurgen Klinsmann though, life’s not as good in Attackville.

Back on the national team, Klinsmann’s got not so easy a solve with Dempsey and the offense.

Klinsmann has the US playing up the pitch and he’s got Jozy Altidore–starting to learn his trade but still tactically a work in progress–ahead of Dempsey. The Texan has much less space to operate in. He also has less field to work with and the movement around him lacks sophistication. Not to mention now he’s usually got a faster defensive midfielder stuck right to him (Yann M’Villa).

Clint Dempsey is almost trapped in the Trequartista role that Jurgen sees as ideal for him. A player who averaged almost 3.97 shots per game for Jol this campaign is getting just 2.25 for the US under Klinsmann.

Dempsey isn’t leading the line and he’s getting collapsed on like he’s Chris Paul going up against the Spurs.

Will Klinsmann move Dempsey around? Or will Klinsmann look to use Fabian Johnson, Landon Donovan and Jozy Altidore to really focus on moving offball to create space?

Much of the key to the Yanks attack in World Cup qualifying would seem to resolves around Klinsmann creating opportunities for Clint.

“Clint, stand over here while I try and figure some things out.”

46 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by BernieBernier on 2012/05/23 at 5:58 PM

    I follow Fulham pretty closely and he did start the season on the bench but that was largely because he missed all of pre-season with both the Gold Cup and time that he was given off post-GC. Remember Fulham started the season early with Europa League qualifiers since they got in via Fair Play. I don’t think that Jol didn’t believe in him.

    That said, the rest of the article is entirely on point. Dempsey almost lacks a position for Fulham. He was listed as playing numerous positions but regardless of whether he was LM, AM, withdrawn forward, sole forward he seemed to drift play where he wanted, where there was space.

    At Fulham, Dempsey is by far the leader in scoring and he faces attention from other teams every game. He doesn’t have a guy that is a magical assist man. Same conditions are present at the US team.

    The big difference between Fulham and USMNT IMO is not where Dempsey plays or who feeds him. It seems to me to be a chemistry thing. He is making runs and people don’t see him or time it right (he must have 5 goals this year on through balls). The Italy goal was classic Fulham Dempsey to me, a blend of class and opportunism. I haven’t seen the opportunism at the USMNT level yet.

    Hopefully having Landon and Fabian on the wings brings it out in him. If the MF behind him is Bradley and Beckerman he wont have the stats he had at Fulham. Diarra/Dembele/Murphy to Bradely/Edu/Beckerman is not much of a contest in the fitting the pass to set Dempsey up.


  2. Posted by Crow on 2012/05/23 at 6:47 PM

    And if youre Martin Jol you continually underrate Dempsey in the press saying he’d fail if he’d go elsewhere.

    Too bad Chelsea won Champions League. I thought maybe Deuce could go to Spurs to play Champions League football. Coach K has the connections.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2012/05/23 at 10:19 PM

      Agreed on Jol. All season long while playing up his Ruiz acquisition. Quite odd.


    • Posted by BernieBernier on 2012/05/24 at 12:53 AM

      I assumed that talk was part of a strategy to retain the player. Telling Clint if he goes to Arsenal that he would do great only incents him to go. Lets be honest, Fulham can’t offer what Arsenal can financially, quality of play, impact on the public views you, etc. The only card Fulham has is “its pretty good here why risk it”

      As a Fulham fan it scares me to death that the team basically could lose Dempsey and Dembele this off season. Lost Zamora last year. Progs is a free agent. Murphy, Diarra, and Duff are really really old. AJ wants to leave.

      From a front 6 prospective we could be relying on Ruiz, Murphy, Diarra, Frei (good but young), Kacaniklic (also very good but very young), Kasami. That looks like a relegation worry for me.


      • Posted by Excellency on 2012/05/24 at 4:44 PM

        Arsenal isn’t the place for Dempsey. They play wide and Dempsey is not a wide player. The only CL team in London he could go to is Chelsea now that Drogba has left. However, I don’t really see Dempsey as being Chelsea’s/DiMatteo’s style either.

        I feel a little sorry for Torres. He thinks he is the man now that Drogba left but I think he will drown yet again amidst the players around him. I’d love to see Arsenal buy Torres and play him at right wing. Will not happen now that Drogba is leaving. Will be interesting to see who Chelsea bring in over the summer.

        I would not mind seeing Dempsey stay at Fullham. He had less than half a season playing with Pogs, who, I think, has extended his stay with Fullham. They just need to get some youth behind Duff at right wing and replace Murphy at mid because he is now 35 and wants to leave to coach anyway. M.Bradley would be a perfect addition.


    • Posted by Chris on 2012/05/24 at 5:34 AM

      Call it “underrating” all you want, but I’d wager Jol doesn’t underrate Clint one bit.

      Point to one instance where Jol said that Clint would fail. You won’t be successful. So I wouldn’t waste my time if I were you.

      What Jol has done is be honest. Plenty have had great success for clubs the size of Fulham and gone on to sit the bench at bigger clubs like Chelsea, Man U, etc only to wind up back at clubs that are only slightly different from the one the left, having wasted a season or seasons of playing time. Jol’s statements have been accurate.

      What’s unclear are Jol’s motives. Is he trying to persuade Clint to stay? Is he resigned to Clint leaving and trying to affect the future transfer in some way? Is he resigned to Clint leaving and trying to send a message to the player about ensuring that the grass IS actually greener with the side he chooses to join?

      There aren’t many who know those answers. I don’t believe any are involved in this conversation.


      • Posted by matthewsf on 2012/05/24 at 10:51 AM

        “If we want to be a top side we need players who can score more than 20 goals in all competitions.
        I have always had that – I can remember Luis Suarez scoring 53 goals for me at Ajax.
        ‘He’s not at that level yet”

        Fail is a strong use of words, but go through the transcripts–how many times did Jol praise others for a goal Dempsey scored.


        • Posted by Chris on 2012/05/24 at 12:40 PM

          First, I’d ask the context of the question that elicited that response. The comparison is a bit silly. There’s no question where Suarez belongs on the field. He’s the pointy end of the sword. Clint is a far more versatile player IMO, but because of that, he’s never going to have the kind of season that Suarez became known for at Ajax.

          Do you feel that Dempsey is a 53 goal scorer for Ajax in the period that Jol is referencing? I don’t know. Jol knows that Ajax squad better than anyone most likely and he definitely knows more about both players than you or I ever will.

          Jol has also stated that he’d like for Clint to stay with Fulham as long as he’s managing there. He’s stated that he’s put Clint in several different positions on the field with varying responsibilities and it doesn’t matter – he scores. These are hardly the words of a manager who doesn’t believe in a player or underrates him. I just don’t know where you folks come up with that notion.


          • Posted by matthewsf on 2012/05/24 at 3:14 PM

            Not sure the “you folks” notion. Did you go back and review game quotes — because it’s pretty evident. Maybe it’s motivational, who knows. Not saying here that Jol doesn’t value them, but that public negotiations (on the lighter side) or publicly questioning his skillset is just not smart.

            Prove me otherwise that Jol’s commentary hasn’t been tinted that way this past campaign.

            It’s unnecessary. Dempsey is a professional. Doesn’t need to be handled like that.


            • Posted by Chris on 2012/05/24 at 4:42 PM

              You and Crow don’t appear to be alone in your opinions. Hence the “you folks”. Nothing derogatory intended.

              Perhaps you could point me to your source for game quotes so that I can review them. I’ve done some quick searches for “Martin Jol post game quotes” and the like and haven’t found much that supports either argument. There are quotes out there that are transfer related that do back up what I’ve paraphrased.

              Until I’ve seen the quotes you refer to I can’t really speak to my ideas about them.

              You didn’t answer my question regarding the Suarez comparison.

            • Posted by Chris on 2012/05/24 at 5:55 PM

              I went and searched again. No cherry picking of good over bad – just what I found related to Dempsey’s scoring. That is what you stated was under appreciated by Jol.

              Here’s what I found for games in which he scored:

              Jol said: “Clint is a good player. He scored 13 goals in the league last year and tonight it was a much-needed goal and a much-needed

               “Clint Dempsey. Unbelievable.”

              “He’s got it all in his locker. Nobody knew that he was capable of doing that then he scored against Bolton away,” said Jol.

              “In the last couple of weeks we’ve thought let him take the free-kicks to see if he can do it again and he’s done it again.”

              Again, I’m not too sure where your coming up with this impression you have.

            • Posted by BernieBernier on 2012/05/25 at 5:59 AM

              Chris – I follow Fulham religiously, listen to all the games via the website (that aren’t on TV), read all the London papers game reports, listen to the BBC podcast, etc.

              Crow and Matt are right. On numerous times when asked about Dempsey’s contract situation/losing Dempsey Jol’s response was some variation of he may not be good enough for regular playing time at a top side. That was not just a once in passing comment, that was pretty consistent over the last 6 weeks or so once the Dempsey to … stories started picking up steam.

              That said, we have had that same debate here prior to/early in this season.

            • Posted by Chris on 2012/05/25 at 7:46 AM

              Bernie, I am aware of the type of comment you are referring to. Again though, those are not inaccurate comments from Jol. Dempsey might not be good enough for regular playing time. You realize that the lack of a single offer from “a top side” might be an indication that someone other than Jol feels the same way?

              And please note that, aside from the quote where Jol ridiculously compared Clint to Suarez – no one has given context to that yet by the way – no one in our conversation here has provided a single quote where Jol was slagging Clint off. I’ve provided several quotes where Jol has, to varying degrees, complimented him.

              I’m a Fulham fan. I make my cable provider choices based upon the availability of FSCHD and FSPHD. I have a subscription to Fox’s online streaming service. I spend the money on those luxuries solely to watch Fulham matches. I visit FriendsOfFulham religiously. I’m a club over player US fan, meaning I’ll continue my support even if Clint leaves, but I’ll also support the success of most any former player – especially Clint, Boca, and EJ (what a humbling experience he’s had. I’m so happy he’s found the Sounders and is starting to find his confidence again).

              I’m not unaware of the things that get said by Jol, or at least the character of them anyway.

              This got started because Crow stated that ‘Jol continually underrated Clint and said he would fail elsewhere’ which is categorically false. Mathewsf agreed when he knew it wasnt accurate. His opinions carry much more weight than ours because of the respect hes earned ( including mine ) reporting on our game. I think theres a bit more responsibility to accuracy that goes with that or at least there should be the expectation of being called on inaccuracies.

              I’ve been asked to go and look up quotes that support Crow’s and Mathewsf’s side of the argument. As lazy and silly as that request was (both times), I did it. What I found in a short amount of time was posted in this thread at 5:55 on the 24th. I’ll repeat what I said there as well – I did not cherry pick the quotes only to support my argument. They’re the first ones I ran into……whatever that’s worth to anyone.

              Time for someone else to support their argument.

            • Posted by BernieBernier on 2012/05/25 at 2:55 PM

              Whether he can start or not, whether he plays better with better teammates or worse because he is not the crux, are all valid arguments. Just don’t see why Jol points that out. Does JK really think that Howard is one of the top 5 GK in the world? Maybe its an American thing but most coaches talk up players to ridiculous levels.

              For what its worth I really like The Hammy End website. http://www.hammyend.com. Nice mix of news and rumors. No real message boards which can be nice.

            • Posted by Crow on 2012/05/25 at 3:34 PM

              “This got started because Crow stated that ‘Jol continually underrated Clint and said he would fail elsewhere’ which is categorically false. Mathewsf agreed when he knew it wasnt accurate. His opinions carry much more weight than ours because of the respect hes earned ( including mine ) reporting on our game. I think theres a bit more responsibility to accuracy that goes with that or at least there should be the expectation of being called on inaccuracies.”

              I’m sorry now that I used the word ‘fail’ (based off the passionate reaction it has created) because Jol didn’t come out and directly say that Dempsey would fail. I didn’t even remember typing that- I was typing the idea of what I had read, not the literal word for word. You must be a lawyer or an English Honors teacher Chris.

              Anyway, Jol on separate occasions made sure to highlight the fact of how different players who left Fulham for bigger clubs has a significant DECLINE IN FORM (is that more appropriate- not using the “F” word fail) or playing time. When I hear Jol say that on multiple occasions when asked whether Dempsey will transfer, I reach the conclusion that he is inferring that Dempsey probably will fail if he leaves. I feel that is rational.

              The other thing was Jol saying twice that there was “zero/no” interest in Dempsey. “We talked to (Dempsey) and hopefully he will sign the contract to keep him here for the next three years.

              “If not, then he’s still our player because there’s not one club who has made an approach for him.

              Its not Jol’s job to tell us who/who is not interested in Dempsey but I found that comment a little ridiculous. “Not one club has made an approach”- okay maybe because it isn’t the transfer window yet, but I find it hard to believe that no one was interested or inquiring or will be. Again, maybe Jol’s problem is just his personality or the fact that English is not his first language, but as Michael asked Tobias in Arrested Development, I request Jol purchase a tape recorder to record some of the stuff that come out of his mouth.

              I may not have been a Fulham fan as long as some of the other people on this board- I can’t say I’m a diehard fan like other teams that I grew up with since I was 4 or 5 years old. I didn’t get into soccer until I was a teenager. However, I have been following closely since the McBride years, and I do not think Jol did very well. As much as Hodgson gets criticized, he got Fulham to the Europa League final and a 7th place! I see Fulham next year pulling an Aston Villa or worse if Dempsey and Pogrebnyak leave.

            • Posted by Crow on 2012/05/25 at 4:56 PM

              I’ve got Fulham cred. Im not one of those posers who bought a SW6 tshirt on BigSoccer. Harry Bradshaw FTW!!!

              Before had FSC or FSP I listened to Fulham games on Satellite Radio!!!! I’ve had Clint Dempsey retweet one of my tweets!!! I owned an Eddie Johsnon Fulham jersey (okay not that one) I… I…. drive a Dodge Stratus! 🙂

  3. Posted by Andy on 2012/05/23 at 7:13 PM

    “Clint Dempsey is almost trapped in the Trequartista role that Jurgen sees as ideal for him. A player who averaged almost 3.97 shots per game for Jol this campaign is getting just 2.25 for the US under Klinsmann.”

    Surely the sample size with the Nats is still too small for you to discount the role random variance might have played here.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2012/05/23 at 10:17 PM

      It’s directionally accurate and visible from game review. It’s more relevant when you consider that Deuce has played for Klinsmann against Ecuador’s B team, honduras’s B team and more.


      • Posted by Dave on 2012/05/24 at 10:38 PM

        I truely belive that once the full “A” team core is available (Jozy, Donovan, Dempsey, Bradley, Jones, Johnson, Chandler/Lichaj/Dolo) I think it’ll be much harder for teams to focus in and limit the attack. Over the past handful of matches the field has been unballanced with most everyone keying in on Dempsey. If/When everyone is healthy and available I feel there will be a much more ballanced attack which should create more opportunities for Dempsey as well as Donovan, Jozy, and Johnson/Shea.


  4. Posted by SamT on 2012/05/24 at 8:20 AM

    Fantastic, Matt. Looking forward to seeing how Dempsey and Donovan are deployed under Jurgen. We have not yet seen that, correct?


  5. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/05/24 at 10:11 AM

    Dempsey is Fulham’s main man, he basically carried the team. Jol is no mug, he knows this, but he also knows that Dempsey has made no secret about playing CL football. It is obvious that Jol wants him to stay and he has even made reference to Berbatov (leaving Jol’s Tottenham) and him sitting on the bench. Jol knows he cannot compete with biggers clubs, but what he can make reference to is playing time.

    If we were Fulham’s manager, we would do exactly the same we about to lose our best player. Plus, there’s one thing saying X to the media, but I guess their private conversations are perhaps a little different.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2012/05/24 at 10:19 AM

      Jol can gain nothing by being public about the challenges and realities of Dempsey playing CL. Jol merely looks like he is slamming his player….now if you’re an up-and-comer (Frei?) and you want to use fulham as a stepping stone to CL, what do you think of Jol’s comments.

      Poor form AND not just that…Jol continually complimented Ruiz incessantly (insecure, much?) over Dempsey during the first 2/3 of the season.


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/05/24 at 10:36 AM

        What do you mean Jol has nothing to gain? He will hopefully get his best player over the 2011/12 season to stay and commit to a new contract!! He is obviously trying to get into Dempsey’s mind re. playing every game vs. getting rotated as part of a squad, no? Dempsey is statistically, age wise at least, at the top of his peak, so things are probably going to (slowly) decline from now. Does he want to sit on a bench at his age?

        Well, I guess we shall see what happens when the transfer window opens.


        • Posted by Mingjai on 2012/05/24 at 12:43 PM

          Jol’s taking a risk by using the media as his venue to make his point to Dempsey about playing time. Jol could easily make his point in private conversations with Dempsey. But in front of the media, Jol is better off complimenting his players when they deserve the compliment because otherwise he risks alienating his quality players.


        • Posted by Crow on 2012/05/24 at 2:46 PM

          I disagree with the statements of “Chris”. First of all Jol should not act like a tool towards Dempsey, because Deuce nearly singlehandely led Fulham to a top 10 finish instead of a relegation battle.

          Second, if Jol wants to keep Dempsey I highly doubt challenging him is the wisest course of action. Dempsey seems like he has always had something to prove his whole life. If I was Jol and I really wanted to keep Dempsey, I’d appeal to how the fanbase loves him, how he could become the icon of Fulham “forever”, and not moving his family. I think that would be much more effective.


          • Crow,

            In the first place, there is an excellent chance that regardless of what Jol and Fulham do, Clint is gone anyway.

            The Fulham fanbase will love him anyway, he will be a Fulham “icon forever, regardess and his family will support him noi matter what he does.

            When Jol praises some other player without including Clint you make it seem like he is taking a swipe at Clint. In fact, Dempsey is a pretty low key tough guy and might be perfectly fine with what Jol is saying and how he says it. During most of his tenure at Fulham I haven’t noticed a lot of public praise for Clint.Maybe that is just how his managers have worked it. Whatever, it doesn’t seem to have slowed him down any.

            As far as I know, we, meaning you, me, matthewsf and Chris, have no real idea what Clint and Jol say to each other behind closed doors.

            Clint is a team guy and he knows that Jol is there to manage all the players not just stroke Clint so his US fans can feel good. He has a lot of other egos to deal with. And many of them will probably be there next year when Clint, probably, won’t be.

            And by the way, I’m certain Clint will tell you he did not do this single handedly. It’s a team sport and Clint is a team guy.


            • Posted by Crow on 2012/05/25 at 6:03 AM

              I said nothing about Jol praising other players. Jol repeatedly in the press throughout March and april said he doubted whether Dempsesey should go to another team because he ‘probably wouldn’t succeed’ ‘it would be wiser to stay’ ‘no other teams were interested’ He strongly inferred that Luis Suarez was a better player than Dempsey in the press.

              Challenging Clint Dempsey I think is the last thing you want to do if you want him to stay.

            • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/05/25 at 6:57 AM

              I have heard Dempsey say that it is his dream to play in the CL against the best. He also said that he’s not afraid if it doesn’t work out. So, with that said, if a CL team comes in for him, he’s probably saying goodbye to SW6, even if it means he formally hands in a transfer request. The reality is Dempsey has one year left on his contract. At 29, how much do you think he’s worth? Remember, there will be little resale value. If he’s priced fairly, I can see a few teams interested. But if he’s overpriced, will a Top 4 team pay that for a squad player?

          • Crow,

            This guy says it better than I can.


            Jol, a pretty brusque straight forward guy, clearly thinks Suarez is at a higher level than Dempsey, which is hardly an insult.
            When it comes to Suarez, remember that Jol was his manager when he had his big breakout years in Ajax. He apparently has a very good relationship with him.

            And also remember that outside the US, Suarez is regarded at being a higher level player than Clint. The numbers support what Jol says :

            Suarez had 81 goals for Ajax in 110 games and has 15 goals for Liverpool in 44 games. He has 26 goals in 52 games for Uruguay.

            Clint has 50 goals for Fulham in 184 games and 25 goals for the US in 83 games.

            Finally, to say that challenging Clint is” the last thing you want to do” and a bad idea, makes no sense.

            If there is anything that Clint thrives on it is a challenge. But I think he has other challenges in mind.


            • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/05/25 at 7:05 AM

              To be completely fair, I don’t think you’re being reasonable in comparing the scoring stats of a forward to an attacking midfielder / sometimes withdrawn forward. I don’t think many players who play in Dempsey’s position would stack up against those numbers.

              Plus, Suarez’s ratio declines in the PL, where Dempsey has been for 6 years. A ratio of 0.34 vs 0.27 in the PL somewhat supports this.

            • Posted by Crow on 2012/05/25 at 7:48 AM

              My main problem saying Suarez is “better” than Dempsey is considering this was not long after Suarez’s displays of repulsive behavior. Dempsey in my mind is a much better sportsman and man than Suarez could ever hope to be. I consider it an insult to compare him to that clown even though I know Jol coached Suarez and that is why he used him.

              Then lets consider the positions they play- of course Suarez should score more than Dempsey. Also, you could argue Suarez easily has had better service/support on the teams he has played for.

              Suarez’s huge year was in the Dutch League where Adam Cristman could score 20 goals in a season.

              Yes, motivating or challenging Dempsey is good but challenging him by saying he will fail if he goes elsewhere is foolish if you have a desire to keep him.

              I do agree it is probably a moot point. Dempsey wants to play CL football. This is his last and best chance if he gets one. He’ll probably go if he can- if he doesn’t get an offer he’ll probaly stay at Fulham as long as he can.

            • Posted by Gregorio on 2012/05/25 at 7:55 AM

              Just to add a point here in regards to Clint be a low-key guy; the lack of public praise by Jol. etc.. ” No action is an action” meaning that Jol’s omission is an action, his lack of praise does not mean that Clint doesn’t want/need it, just because he(Clint) doesn’t complain about it doesn’t signify that he isn’t slighted by it in some capacity. Jol words & actions are very akin to many a dysfunctional home and these do affect everyone in Fulham.
              – dsyfunctional mental health professional.

            • Gregorio,

              Like I said, we have no idea what Jol says to Dempsey behind the scenes. I’m sure Clint would appreciate the praise, who would not?

              But the proof is in the pudding and Jol’s style or lack thereof has not hindered Clint’s productivity. It might even have given him an edge, adding something to that chip on his shoulder he uses so well.

              It is hard to imagine Clint having a better year.

              Jol is his manager so to the extent that a manager’s actions or inactions affect a player’s productivity I would say the facts show Jol has done something right.

              GCross and Crow,

              I’m not the one who compared Suarez to Dempsey.

              Jol did that.

              I’ll bet he does not think Suarez will have any problem scoring in the EPL going forward.

              I would submit to you he knows far better than you guys or I how he used those two and what their capabilities are. He felt it was a reasonable comparison and why would I question that?

              More to the point Suarez is not “just ‘ a goal poacher. He is also an excellent all around player. And he is only 25.

              I don’t think there is any question that Dempsey is probably a better human being and more acceptable to US fans, but if you leave all that aside for the moment, and put them both on the open market right now I’m pretty sure Suarez will be seen as the better investment, even though clearly Clint had a better year.

              Clint was ranked fourth in that writer’s poll for player of the year in England. The interesting thing about that is that the writer only gets one vote.

              No ballot ranking a first, second and third place player.

              Just one vote.

              The fact that Clint placed fourth means that there were an awful lot of writers in England who had him ahead of everyone, Van Persie, Rooney, Suarez, and so on. The British know damn well how good Dempsey is.

              So I wish everyone would get off this bullshit pity party for the poor underappreciated Clint and just get on with it.

            • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/05/25 at 1:17 PM

              No Stars & Stripes tinted glasses on here. He had a great season. Let’s just see if he can maintain this level.

            • Posted by Crow on 2012/05/25 at 3:07 PM

              “So I wish everyone would get off this bullshit pity party for the poor underappreciated Clint and just get on with it.”

              I think its safe to say that Clint has been one of the more underrated players in the EPL over the last few years.

              The only point I made is I think Jol was acting somewhat ignorant with some of his statements when Dempsey was his meal ticket this year, and expressing my confusion on how taking an approach like Jol did could help in retaining Dempsey.

            • Crow,

              “I think its safe to say that Clint has been one of the more underrated players in the EPL over the last few years.“

              By who? US fans have always appreciated him. As have Fulham fans.
              Fulham is a humble club and Clint has been their best player so his relatively low radar status in the larger UK and European press is about what you would expect. He has yet to prove to them that he can do it where they really notice, the CL.

              Better players than him have tried and failed.

              Why do you think he wants to move? He is tired of the big fish, small pond syndrome.

              As for Jol, has it ever occurred to you that without the support of his teammates Dempsey goes nowhere and maybe does not score as much? Which means maybe Fulham do not win as much?

              And maybe Jol sees this and thinks “I’d better support them so they are okay with him being the big guy”. They all have big egos too you know. And maybe even Clint knows this?

              At the end of the day I think you will agree Jol probably has a better understanding of how the club house politics work than either you or me.

      • Posted by Jared on 2012/05/24 at 10:43 AM

        It makes sense that Jol would praise Ruiz a lot. He just plunked out 10.6 million GBP for Ruiz. It’s not easy to settle into the Premier League right away and Jol was doing his best to keep Ruiz from becoming one of those guys who starts poorly then never makes the jump. He also has to justify spending that kind of money on a player when that is a very large transfer fee for Fulham.


  6. Posted by chazcar2 on 2012/05/24 at 1:59 PM

    I liked what i saw of fulham’s system. I think the US needs to let the forwards have the flexability that fulham does.

    I saw them playing at home as a 3-4-2-1. I think the line up call was a 4-5-1 or 4-4-2. It is distinctly not a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-3. Maybe its a 4-3-2-1. I really though it brought out the best in dempsey, and I could see donavon sloting into it well as well. Basically its similar to what klinsman is trying


    RB-Right Back- Gets slightly forward, plays with ball at feet, but mainly defensive (dolo/Parkhurst)
    CB-Centerback (gooch/Goodson,Boca/Cameron)
    RM-Stays wide, helps on defense and puts crosses in the box (Donavon or Morales/Corona?)
    CDM-Central defensive mid (Beckerman/Jones/Willaims)
    BB-Box to box mid, mildly creative mostly just in the right place right time (bradley/Edu)
    FB-Fullback, runs the whole wing of the field, mostly attacking (Fabian/Castillo)
    CAM- Center attacking mid, starts from right wing but cuts through center, defends right of center (Torres/Zusi or Donavon)
    LM-Left Mid- comes In from left to pick up ball and take shots. Frequently even or ahead of striker (Dempsey/Corona? Normally i would think Shea)
    ST-striker- Holds up play, makes runs, etc. (Altidore/Boyd/Agudelo)


    • Posted by BernieBernier on 2012/05/25 at 6:24 AM

      This is where formations get tricky. Riise plays left back. He gets forward a lot in attack, but sits pretty deep on defense. I wouldn’t say Fulham plays with 3 in the back.


  7. Posted by Excellency on 2012/05/24 at 4:29 PM

    Fullham lineup end 2012

    equals USA possible line-up


    except that Dempsey doesn’t actually play left wing. Riis/Johnson would do that from the left back position.

    Dempsey just drifts centrally and scores.

    The Fullham match I saw towards the end of the season, Jol used Riis to bring the ball up the left side and towards the end of the match he put Frei in at left wing for more offence while Riis stayed home to defend because they took Murphy off to put Frei in.

    The match was against WIgan. Hughes didn’t fly up the flank because Duff plays right wing pretty well, like Dono does, and Hughes had the task of marking Wigan’s star left wing Moses (which he did very well, like Dolo would).

    Frei drew a free kick in the right spot and Dempsey headed it in for the winner.


    • Posted by Excellency on 2012/05/24 at 7:23 PM

      or was it Senderos who headed it in? Can’t remember. Doesn’t matter.


    • Posted by BernieBernier on 2012/05/25 at 6:34 AM

      I think this sums up the “Klinsman Qualifier Conundrum” to me. Clint can’t score the way he can at Fulham as Diarra/Murphy/Dembele is far superior at passing in comparison to Jones/Edu/Bradley. It needs to be Jones/Torres/Bradley. That also assumes that Dempsey plays on a wing.

      If you wanted to recreate the Fulham environment it wouldn’t be that hard as the US has the right pieces…

      Dempsey – Atlidore – Donovan (hugging the line)
      Jones – Torres – Bradley
      Fabian – Boca – Cameron (need him not Gooch as Hangeland gets up field to break things up) – Dolo

      I don’t think we are seeing Dempsey move out of the CAM role as that seems like a huge change however we haven’t seen the Dempsey and Donovan together yet so…


      • Posted by chazcar2 on 2012/05/25 at 11:19 AM

        Let me preface with: Formations really aren’t important.

        But I would see it working better like this:
        4-4-1-1 in defense

        2-3-4-1 in attack


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